Marlowe and Company in Barnfield’s Greene’s Funeralls (1594)

Roy Eriksen


The accomplished and daring but minor poet Richard Barnfield (1574-1620) was among the first poets to engage creatively with the works of Greene, Marlowe, and Shakespeare. This article argues that Sonnet 9 in Barnfield’s Greene’s Funeralls (1594) reveals not only his admiration for these literary innovators, but also his difficult manoeuvres on the fringes of the group of poetic rivals. Barnfield’s often-quoted, but not fully understood “sonnet” reflects the young poet’s attempts to accost his more famous contemporaries and also sheds light on the date of composition of Doctor Faustus (B) and the early circulation of Shakespeare’s “sugred sonnets”.

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